Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Ivory Tower

my knowledge--best thriving on card-board
livers and gray-veal pages--
is the Ivory Tower.
I am the gloating resentment of everyday.
I am silence, its disconcerting
narcissism. In a corner, watch me swell
and redden, explode in finite,

I am the Ivory Tower,
its quiet intellectuals, grateful liberals who
only see torture in novels and
accounts. Our language is slow and painful.
we have white skin, like the sick, imposing

we live and breathe and communicate within
inside, stifled, deliberately choking on
knowledge. we know war through
Hemingway, violence through Palahniuk,
drugs through Hunter S.
but none of these we know through

these walls--
white ivory, pure and untainted--have, like curtains
drawn themselves
and closed.

we venture out only
when it is safe

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Death of Finality

bubbles in the universe
on bus stops
in paperbacks, on
desks carved in heart-strings.

foucault had them,
as did aristotle and atwood. beauvoir blew
voice into the swift, catapulting
balloons of shifty

platonic ideas--floating above us?
like air-circuitry; a network
of flying
kantian dreams; morrison bleeding
with heroin
and bukowski sewing
stories out of
dismissal slips and empty, shivering
wine bottles.

in understanding we are lost,
in finality,
stranded in doubt.
in the unconnected, vibrant waiting, in the
not-yet and the not-to-be
in the never-was and
we are the always-here.
always waiting, catching circles of thought--idly and
ideally--in our palms like
unfinished, string-thin dreams.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Layout

In an effort to procrastinate, I have created a new layout for my dear blog. Please comment.. what do you like better? Personally, I miss the old one.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Art as Redeemer

many will say that art is a way to let out anger; to rearrange subjective trauma in an effort to make it coherent and valuable. writing is therapy. its even a form of meditation (according to over-priced self-help books). it is self-help.

but i've always had trouble with this. is art only a form of therapy? if so, it fails to play any larger, cosmic role in mankind's history. art becomes a free therapist you can scribble on while he sits quietly and listens. I've been troubled by the idea. it seems to diminish art.

what's more, it seems to posit that all we do is spill our feelings and watch them flourish, without any real intellectual work. this is far from the case, as we know. take writing, for example: there's editing, submitting to publishers, grovelling over plot and character errors. there is--in essence--an entire life to it. painting is similar: there is the picking of right colors, symmetry, symbolism, metaphor. its a network of communication. rather than being a simple release, art is simultaneously a giving-up and a taking-in. we give up our experiences in order for them to be taken in by someone else, creating a slow, deliberate dialogue--a telepathic communication between two souls. is art a Redeemer for the human race? definitely not. one can argue that clay pots and bone fragments have as much archeological significance--if not more--than literature. but what's in clay pots and bone fragments? they neither reveal to us aspects of the human condition nor their makers' subjective toils. they are voiceless.

get out your pencils, paint-brushes, notebooks, canvases..
and redeem the world :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Sparrow--a Professor of Philosophy?

i've been admitted to an MA at Ryerson University (the second best University in Toronto, other than U of T, which I currently attend.. I'm a big fan of Ivory-Tower, academic gloating). my marks--actually--are sufficient but not extraordinary, and so i was a bit surprised.

i think i should get my ass to work and stop napping on my days off instead of doing essays... (maybe stop blogging as much, too)

this offer is a diamond in front of me. TA-ship. funding assistance. studying philosophy for two years. i always expected to go to Teachers College and become a high school teacher, but I've been, so to speak, led to stray from that path. they've puffed up the staunch, academic side of me. i've been walked up to the Ivory Tower, seen its tremendous, gleaming spirals, and now stand incredulous before it, waiting only to go in.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Shaman

the shaman perched on
building-steps, black glass between his
nail-bitten fingers; lapping
quietly at

"I'm always out of body,"
he says when asked.
what is he? I think. A traveling
salesmen bundled in ghost-thin
spirit? a
moving apparition, eating auras and
spitting demons?

grand, drugged-up
mess--living in a liminal
mind state.

between classes. wandering,
diving, swimming, falling
off edges and climbing

through misunderstanding, i had
deemed it
noise--bombast and unnecessary.
for what is misunderstood is
a growing, sour
hatred of

Thursday, March 4, 2010


i have been working on a novel for some time, and after giving it to a friend, received an enlightening but horrible comment: "I don't get it. I'm confused." welcome to how i describe my life. Anyhow, it was brought to my attention that my characters were confused and the plot was unclear. whether this is true (it probably is) i don't know. this is a hefty thing--about 60 pages single-spaced at this point--and to see it as confused is on its way to giving me a panic attack.

[stay calm]

i've spent a great deal of time on this novel, and i do enjoy it. but looking back i can see how my friend is right. i've always been a flaky (i'll admit it), aloof person, out-of-it both in my writing and out of it. it's a wonder i am navigating my way through university without any apparent conflict. anyhow, the tremendous comment hit me on the head like a wooden plank. BOMP. your characters are confused. i don't get the plot. that wouldn't have been bad in itself had i not actually LOOKED over the novel to find the very flaws she mentioned.

furthermore, this came at the worst possible moment: about 3 hours of potential essay-writing time were ruined by worry. now, i am left dangling on a precipice.

2 hours later:
I've found a solution. (ps. this is my life: tremendous anguish followed by momentary relief.. perhaps i'm a bit hysterical ;)

if anyone wants to see some of the novel, i will gladly send it.